Go Away With … ​Dontari Poe

Jae-Ha Kim

Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Dontari Poe loves football almost as much as he enjoys helping children. His Poe Man’s Dream Foundation started off with an annual free football camp for kids in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn. It has since grown into a program for children in Memphis and Kansas City, Mo., where they are given support with tech events and a three-month program called Dream Big Build Strong. “That program teaches them about healthy living and eating, and provides additional educational support,” says Poe, 26. “I speak with our board and team on a regular basis to figure out what sort of programs make the most sense for these children. I grew up in the inner city, so I have an understanding of what the kids there need.”

For more information on Poe and his projects, check out his website and follow him onTwitter.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. My first trip was going to Six Flags in St. Louis, Mo. I had a really fun time with my family. Maybe it was like foretelling the future, because I ended up being a NFL player in Kansas City.

Q. Which city has the most vocal football fans — both good and bad?

A. Of course, I think that Kansas City fans are the best! They are so supportive of their team. I have to say that Oakland has the worst fans. They are so loud, will say anything and curse you out.

Q. What was it like playing exhibition games overseas?

A. I’ve only played an exhibition game in London and it was really fun there. That was actually the first time I’d ever traveled overseas. The fans were really into the game.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I love the beach and how relaxing everything is in Miami. The nightlife in both places is really fun. I would recommend walking down Ocean Drive, then I’d tell them to go to Wet Willies for one of their drinks and then walk right across to the beach after. I also like Phoenix.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Salt Lake City is an untapped destination, in my opinion, when it comes to the nightlife and going out. People usually think about going there to get to the snow, but I’ve had a lot of fun going out to clubs, bars and restaurants.
Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A. To never take a bag that you love and never check your bag. You never know what can happen to it if you let it out of your sight. I’m a minimalist, so I really don’t need much. I believe in packing very light. I honestly would say the only “must-have” item I need is a toothbrush.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Los Angeles and Miami. I usually do annual trips with my high school friends and sometimes with my teammates, and those are really fun places for going out. The restaurants were really good.

Q. What are your favorite cities?

A. Miami, L.A., Salt Lake City, Memphis, Houston and Kansas City. It’s sort of a tie between a few of them.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. I would love to go to Africa some time. I’m not sure where exactly yet, but I feel like it’d be an incredible experience to go and experience the culture there.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. Going to the Maldives. As you can see, I like beach settings.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. My best vacation memory was going out to L.A. with my high school friends. We rented a house together. I don’t even remember sleeping the entire weekend. My worst vacation memory was going out to Miami for spring break with my teammates and I was flying out alone. I missed my flight in Atlanta and got stuck there for a whole day. I ended up getting on a plane the next day. By the time I got to Miami, there was only one day left to hang out.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times best-selling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)


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